When Margaret Hall was twelve, her mother took her by sea to England to meet the aunts. Bored and lonely, Margaret ‘worked her passage’, sweeping decks and polishing officers’ brass buttons. A life at sea became her great desire. However, she became a librarian first, then did naval training in England and started up the first Girls’ Nautical training Corps in Christchurch. She moved, after her retirement, with her father and sister to the house they designed at Fox Glacier, where she began to write.